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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Keeping Pictures Interesting

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

One of the challenges that many photographers face is how to keep their pictures interesting and engaging for their viewers. Many factors can affect the quality and appeal of a photo, such as lighting, composition, colour, focus, and subject matter. However, even if these elements are well executed, a photo can still look boring or repetitive if it does not convey a story, emotion, or message. Therefore, it is important to think about what you want to communicate with your photo, and how you can use the visual language of photography to achieve that goal. Here are some tips on how to keep your pictures interesting:

- Experiment with different angles and perspectives. Instead of taking a photo from the usual eye-level or frontal view, try to capture your subject from above, below, behind, or sideways. This can create a sense of drama, surprise, or curiosity in your photo, and show your subject in a new light.

- Use the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a simple but effective technique that can help you create a balanced and dynamic composition. Imagine dividing your frame into nine equal parts by drawing two horizontal and two vertical lines. Then, place your main subject or point of interest along one of these lines or at one of their intersections. This can help you avoid placing your subject in the centre of the frame, which can make your photo look static and dull.

- Include some negative space. Negative space is the empty or unoccupied area around your subject. It can help you create contrast, emphasize your subject, and add a sense of depth and scale to your photo. Negative space can also create a mood or atmosphere in your photo, such as calmness, loneliness, or mystery.

- Play with light and shadows. Light and shadows are essential elements of photography that can create dramatic effects and enhance the mood and tone of your photo. You can use natural or artificial light sources to illuminate your subject in different ways, such as backlighting, side lighting, or front lighting. You can also use shadows to create patterns, shapes, or textures on your subject or background.

- Add some movement or action. Movement or action can add energy and excitement to your photo, and capture a moment in time that would otherwise be lost. You can use a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion of your subject, such as a person jumping, a bird flying, or a car speeding. Or you can use a slow shutter speed to create a blur effect that shows the motion of your subject, such as a waterfall flowing, a person running, or a car passing by.

There are many factors that can make a photograph interesting, such as the subject, the composition, the lighting, the colour, the contrast, the perspective, and the mood. A photograph can capture a moment in time, tell a story, evoke an emotion, or convey a message. Some of the things that can help a photographer create an interesting photograph are:

- Choosing a subject that is meaningful, unique, or captivating. The subject can be a person, an object, a place, or an idea. The subject should draw the viewer's attention and curiosity.

- Applying the rule of thirds, which is a guideline for dividing the image into nine equal parts and placing the main elements along the lines or at the intersections. This can help create a balanced and harmonious composition that leads the eye through the image.

- Using different angles and viewpoints to show the subject from different perspectives and create a sense of depth and dimension. For example, a low angle can make the subject look powerful or imposing, while a high angle can make it look small or vulnerable.

- Adjusting the lighting and exposure to create different effects and moods. Lighting can be natural or artificial, soft or hard, warm or cool, direct or indirect. Lighting can also create shadows and highlights that add contrast and drama to the image.

- Experimenting with colour and saturation to enhance or change the appearance of the subject and the background. Colour can also create contrast, harmony, or mood. For example, warm colours can convey warmth, energy, or excitement, while cool colours can convey calmness, sadness, or mystery.

- Editing and cropping the image to remove unwanted elements, emphasize important details or change the aspect ratio. Editing can also involve applying filters, effects, or adjustments to alter the tone, contrast, sharpness, or colour of the image.

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